16.02.2012 Africa

Urgent response needed to prevent a worsening of hunger in the Sahel

16.02.2012 LISTEN
By World Food Program (WFP)

ROME, Italy, February 16, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Leaders from United Nations agencies and representatives of affected governments and major donors today called for an urgent scale-up of humanitarian, rehabilitation and development assistance to respond to rising levels of hunger in the Sahel region, caused by the combined effects of drought, high food prices, displacement and conflict.

“This is a devastating drought. It's throwing more than 10 million people into grave food and nutrition insecurity. Today, more than one million children are facing urgent malnutrition which can have devastating long-term consequences,” said UN World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director Josette Sheeran, following a high-level meeting at WFP headquarters in Rome.

For recent video images from the Sahel, please click on this link:

For video images from the media briefing following the Rome meeting today, please click on this link:

A new video story from the Sahel can be viewed by following this link:

For photo images from the Sahel region, please click on this link:

For photo images from today's media briefing, please click on this link:

Interviews with WFP staff in the region can be arranged by contacting:

Malek Triki, WFP/Dakar, Mob. +221 77 6375964 [email protected]

Vigno Hounkanli, WFP/Niamey, Mob. +227 91 20 55 85 [email protected]

A fact sheet on WFP's response to the Sahel crisis can be found at this link:

Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media

For the full text of the Statement released following today's meeting, please follow this link:

At the Rome meeting, participants included, the leadership of the UN World Food Programme (WFP), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the UN Development Programme (UNDP),the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department, joined by senior representatives from the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), United States Agency for International Development (USAID) , representatives of the African Union (AU), Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS), the International Council Voluntary Agencies (ICVA), and a broad representation of donor governments, as well as WFP board members.

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